"Gridlock is making a big comeback"


So sayeth Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in response to upper-house Dems doing everything they can to slow down passage of legislation in the GOP-dominated Senate. From the NY Times account:

Senate Democrats, shut out of Congressional negotiations on Medicare and other important bills last year, are blocking House-Senate negotiations on other bills unless they are guaranteed a voice in writing the final legislation.

The tactic has infuriated Republicans and contributed to election-year paralysis as the House and Senate struggle to work out compromises needed to make law. The conflict intensified late last week and almost caused a partial shutdown of the Transportation Department.

McConnell, known for being a devotee of gridlock in the past, senses a difference when it's Dems doing the obstructing:

In an interview, Mr. McConnell said the difference [between current efforts and when he used procedures to gum up the works] was that in 1994 he was trying to kill the campaign finance bill outright, in an isolated case, while Democrats now were standing in the way of legislation they say they want to pass.

"They are insisting that `we are going to have it our way or we will not let it go forward,' " Mr. McConnell said. "I think that is a stunning perversion of the democratic process."

And we all know what the Republicans think about "stunning perversions."

Whole thing here. Thanks to reader mac, who pointed toward this in the thread of an another entry.

NEXT: Is Bill Bennett the Civil Libertarian?

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  1. Judging by his current web-surfing habits, I’d say it was about even between the dog and the dixiecrat.

  2. Sen Santorum,
    Would you consider a “cluster fuck” to be a “three dog night”?

  3. No! I’m straight now! That’s all in my past!

    Just ask my wife.

  4. We need more gridlock. I’d like to see gridlock sink a highway bill or two.

  5. I continue to believe that the best prospects for gridlock will come with the GOP controlling both houses of Congress (or at the very least GOP control of the Senate) and a Democrat in the White House.

  6. btw, if there’s a Democrat in the White House we’ll get to have lots of fun watching the 2 parties suddenly switch sides on procedural aspects of judicial confirmation. Always a hoot!

  7. Gridlock is good…unless were talking repeal legislation, which we usually aren’t. Speaking of which; how about a repeal session every other one?

  8. And I thought I was going to have to hold my nose and vote for Kerry as a way to help reestablish Congressional gridlock!

    A little OT, but… a man was killed over the weekend when he fell from a rollercoaster ride at Six Flags in MA. Marty Meehan (D-MA) says this is the most recent evidence that the Federal Government, despite expected protests from the “amusement park industry”, must get involved to ensure that these sorts of things don’t happen.

    Viva Gridlock!!!!

  9. Gotta love election year rhetoric. Stunning perversion of process; unprecedented lies; blah, blah, blah …

  10. BOSTON, May 2 (AP) A 55-year-old man with cerebral palsy died after falling out of a roller coaster on Saturday.

    Is it wrong, that I smiled, when I read that..

  11. There are enough GOP congress people who are fed up with Bush’s big spending agenda that we will get more gridlock and spending restraint under a Bush wins scenario with the GOP holding congress then we will if Bush wins and the Dems take congress. (shudder)

    If Kerry wins and the GOP holds congress we can look forward to wonderful gridlock. If Kerry wins and the Dems take congress (double shudder), gridlock will only be a found memory.

  12. Minority factions should have a minority voice. Having a 51% majority does not entitle you to contol 100% of the agenda.

    Democrats, forced to manage the contant squabbling among the numerous factions within their own ranks, have a much better handle on this than Republicans.

    One is a democratic party. The other is an authoritarian party. The habits you pick up in your own house tend to be preserved in dealing with the larger world.

  13. …make that “fond memory”. Damn it!

  14. Now now, Rick, remember 92-94?

    We Dems can do gridlock all by ourselves, thank you very much.

  15. I . . . I can’t live this lie any more. I like girls, I’ve always liked girls, but I pretend to be gay so that voters in Massachusetts will keep me in Congress.

  16. Not as gridlocked as it was after the GOP took congress in the 94 elections, joe.

  17. One is a democratic party. The other is an authoritarian party.

    ROFLMAO. Good one, joe.

    Ask any Washington insider which party has better internal discipline. To a man and woman, they will tell you the Dems do.

    And the idea the the Dems are less authoritarian than the Repubs. Whooo, good one. Pick an issue, any issue (other than abortion) and the Dems at least tie with the Repubs on pushing state control. Gun control? Check. Control of political speech? Close one, but more Repubs voted agains McCain-Feingold than Dems. Taxes? Check. Control of speech in the workplace? Check. Control of who you can associate with in your private life? Check. PATRIOT Act – probably a tie.

    The list goes on and on and on. Bad as the Repubs are, from a libertarian perspective on almost any issue, the Dems are worse.

  18. PATRIOT Act – probably a tie.

    Conservative Republicans like Bob Barr, Ron Paul,and Dick Armey led the push to secure sunset provisions on some of the most anti-civil liberties aspects of the Patriot Act.

  19. Did somebody mention “stunning perversions”? I do believe that’s my cue:

    How am I going to build re-education camps for gays if the Democrats keep filibustering the funding? All I’m trying to do is keep them from falling down the same slippery slope that embarked on when I had a one-nighter with an older man named Strom, and a few weeks later found myself making love to a beagle.

    Folks, if you end the gridlock and give us a filibuster-proof majority, I can deliver a more moral nation. That’s what government does best, after all.

  20. RC, on party discipline – bullshit. Read a roll call or two. I’ve known plenty of people who worked on the Hill, and you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    As for authoritarian vs democratic, I was referring to their habits of internal relations, not their stands on issues.

  21. Dear Sen. Santorum,
    PLEASE save my soul from the masses of unmoral infidels occupying Terra Firma.
    And BTW did you prefer the dog over the dixiecrat?

  22. Man, to only have to deal with two factions!

    Well, there’s always the Democratic Party, which has an Entitlement Faction and, um…

    Wait, what was the other faction, again?

    And to have factions who consider conformity and obedience to be virtues!

    Sounds like a perfect description of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

  23. Democrats, forced to manage the contant squabbling among the numerous factions within their own ranks, have a much better handle on this than Republicans.

    The Republican Party is split between the religious social-conservative wing, the secular big-business wing, and the libertarian wing.

    Implying that the Republicans are a monolithic block is just silly.

    One is a democratic party. The other is an authoritarian party.


  24. I hate to break this to you, Dan, but the Libertarian Wing of the GOP is vanishingly small. The other two wings pose as libertarians on particular issues.

    Man, to only have to deal with two factions! And to have factions who consider conformity and obedience to be virtues!

  25. “Man, to only have to deal with two factions!”

    Indeed. AARP says, “Give us money!” NAACP says “Give us money!” Labor says “Give us money!” Greens say “Give us money!”

    Dems say, we must compromise. We’ll promise everyone money and bill some rich guy.

    Building coalitions is grand.

  26. “There’s no government like no government!”

  27. R.C. Dean,

    I’ve never heard any insider comments on the relative cohesion of the two parties, that I know of anyway. But that sounds counterintuitive to me. I mean, what have the Demos got that remotely compares to Tom Delay?

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